Go Beyond

Written by Teran McKinney
/ About Me / Half-time Remote DevOps/Systems Engineer for $40,000 /

Free Society

I think that perhaps in a rare moment, I know a little part of what I'd like to do with my life.

I believe that people should have the free right to themselves, how they live, where they live, and what they do with their lives. They should not be forced to buy into any tax, and their only punishment should be that of the natural (sometimes right, sometimes wrong) actions of the people they affect.

But that's another matter. As a part of that, I believe that goods should be editable and modifiable, and that most any good thing should have schematics and instructions for building and repairing. Now, people may freely choose to sell things in the usual corporate model, but what if we could download designs for dish racks or most any modern good and print them on a 3D printer? This design could be improved and perfected, and made into what anyone wants. It would only cost the power for printing time, printer maintenance, and plastic. There would be minimal shipping and waste.

Anyone in the world can suggest improvements to this design. Others, can add their artistic flair and touch, forgetting about the practicality and incredible air-flow characteristics of the current dish rack. The perfectionists can perfect, and the artists can transform.

I don't see why every product must compete on the whole with other companies. So few of them can make a genuine, quality device these days. And the ones that make the decent products are often incredibly hard to support. They come with no schematics, and improvements and arguments are limited to the engineers vs. the finance department. Many of the good design aspects are patented, and only the licensed can pay homage to an idea that has already been thought. Patents and copyright severely restrict innovation and the flow of design.

I'd like to see a society where my 1970 BMW 2002 can have every part blueprinted and almost calculated. Each bit can be debated and rethought. And when something finally breaks, BMW's incredible 40 year lifecycle on a part built with materials well surpassed by todays standard, can be replaced with an 80 year design perfected by many. And when the next 80 years comes around, we'll have something even better. Or maybe it'll be a flop, and we'll retry BMW's method. Or perhaps we'll build our own cars altogether, from the ground up. Why should we be stopped with regulations, codes, and anything other than our own ingenuity?

It's not a very sustainable profit model in all cases. People with the design knowhow and 3D printers can resell their time and investment to others, but the designs should all be public. And at worst, if people really want to keep their designs secret and proprietary, maybe they'll have a better software and design base to work on, producing better lasting products with less time sink. Perhaps people could sell their own design improvement skills to work for others who need custom work done, but I doubt it has the money-making potential of copyrights and locked-down products in a limited market. It may, however, offer the best economic stimulus and benefits around on the whole.

Of course, this is not the pinnacle of life or essential by any means. Just, it fascinates me. No more planned obsolecensce, no more Walmart junk. Designs for tinkerer, and quality for the practical person who simply wants to have a place for dishes to dry.

I feel that we have no need for government, regulations, and certainly not special favors or biases to anyone. If people have a fair chance to live and the right attitude, we can work together as intelligent beings producing something much better than the ineffeciencies that encourage some to grow incredibly rich, and others to be poor with broken services and products. Not that capitalism is all bad in my mind, and I see nothing wrong with people who have the capacity to make themselves so rich. I don't propose socialism by any means, but I think that interaction on a level where everyone is equal, everyone is an author, and everyone is a user, is where we best bring life to a point of happiness for all. Large houses, maids, and Maseratis can only go so far. But if you want them, I'm not going to argue with you. Just don't stop me when I want to make my own, fix your broken products, and copy your music and movies. And heck, I might even say your company's name without a valid trademark symbol.

Sincerely,
Teran




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